Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Publication of Can't see the Wood for the Trees

Today is the day when Can't see the wood for the trees: Landscaping Your Life to get back on track is available to download and, if you're lucky enough to be in the US, available to buy a hard copy too! (Unfortunately we'll have to wait till 20th Sept here in the UK to get our hands on one.)

The premise of the book is we use many sayings to describe our current stuck situation, for example: 
  • Stuck in a rut
  • Can’t see the wood for the trees
  • Up the creek without a paddle
  • Like a fish out of water
  • Out on a limb
  • In at the deep end
  • Treading water
  • Going round in circles
  • Missed the tide
and yet, often fail to recognise that the solution is contained within the very words we're using.

Which means:
  • If you’re stuck in a rut, you’ll find the solution in the rut.
  • If you’re up the creek without a paddle, the options available are the same as those for how to get out of the creek, and may or may not include finding a paddle.
  • If you’re like a fish out of water, you definitely need to get back in the water.
  • If you’ve got your head in the sand the one thing you need to do is take it out of the sand.
  • If you’re out on a limb you either need to step back on the limb, or let go of the limb.
  • If you’re treading water, you need to find a way of stopping doing that.
  • If you’ve missed the tide you need to remember there’s another tide in less than 13 hours.
  • And so on
The reason this process is effective lies in the fact that if we're stuck the likelihood will be that we've been stuck for some time - and our story, the ifs, musts, buts, shoulds, oughts, nevers, and cants will be keeping us that way. 

It's as if with every telling of the situation we talk ourselves into being even more stuck!

That's where metaphors come in, specifically the ones hidden in the very words we using.

You'll have heard that a picture paints a thousand words, well in the book I suggest a metaphor paints a thousand pictures. Which means when we use a metaphor to describe our current situation we have 1,000,000 words available to help solve the problem. 

For example, when the current situation feels like we can't see the wood for the trees about the metaphor is the wood and the trees. And the metaphorical solution is found by deciding what you would do if you were in a wood and can't see it for the trees. 

As this image demonstrates there's a number of options.  

Once you've fully explored the metaphorical options it's then about translating these options into real life.

For example, how can you cut some of the trees down, or get more perspective, or get a better overview of the situation, or perhaps it's simply about taking any route out and regrouping and deciding what's next once you're out of the wood?

The answers may sound obvious now, and yet they were hidden by the content and story we were telling ourselves.

When using a metaphor it's as if all those reasons we're stuck get put to one side, the barriers to the solution are demolished, and solutions are allowed, even encouraged, to emerge. 

In the book there's many other Landscaping Your Life (LYL) tools and techniques, that I've used for the last 20 years with clients, that help you get back on track. You'll also find a number of video blogs on the subject on my LYL YouTube playlist.

The book is available from Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukGoodreadsBarnes and NobleWHSWaterstonesDeep BooksInner TraditionsIndieBoundFindhorn Press and other book sellers.

For trade orders please contact your local Simon & Schuster distributor.

I've love to know what you think.


Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life

The LYL answer to any situation we're stuck in lies in going with the flow - but not quite as you think it might.

PPS A more logical look at the solutions can be found today on my Purchasing Coach page. 

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